Last updated on: 8/29/2012 | Author:

David W. Garland, PhD, LLB Biography

Arthur T. Vanderbilt Professor of Law and Professor of Sociology at New York University School of Law
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?"

“I bumped into some undergraduates… and one of them… asked what I was talking about and I said I was talking about capital punishment. And she said are you talking for it or are you talking against it? And in fact the answer is neither. I’m going to try and talk about capital punishment today as a kind of sociological object to be explained, not a moral issue that we should argue about or even a political question that we have to be for or against but rather as a kind of interesting, one might even say odd, institution that… only really occurs today in the USA, of all the western world.”

“American Capital Punishment: Law in the Shadow of Lynching,” Lecture at East Kentucky University, Mar. 1, 2007, video available at

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Fellow, American Society of Criminology, 2007-present
  • Arthur T. Vanderbilt Professor of Law, New York University School of Law, May 2001-present
  • Professor of Sociology, New York University, Sep. 1997-present
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1995-present
  • John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, 2006-2007
  • Havens Center Fellow, Havens Center, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Department of Sociology. Oct. 6-10, 2003
  • Professor of Law, New York University Law School, Sep. 1997-2001
  • Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California, 1997
  • Professor, New York University Global Law School Program, 1995-1997
  • Personal Chair, Faculty of Law, University of Edinburgh, 1992-1997
  • Reader, Faculty of Law, University of Edinburgh, 1992-1997
  • Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Edinburgh, 1979-1990
  • Davis Fellow, Shelby Cullom Davis Center of Historical Studies, Princeton University, 1984-1985
  • Legal Assistant, Scottish Law Commission, 1977
  • PhD, Socio-Legal Studies, Edinburgh University, 1984
  • MA, Criminology, Sheffied University, 1978
  • LLB, first class honours, Edinburgh University, 1977
  • Editorial Board Member, Law and Social Inquiry, present
  • Editorial Board Member, Studies in Law, Politics and Society, present
  • International Advisory Board Member, British Journal of Criminology, present
  • Scientific Advisory Board Member, Studi Sulla Questione Criminale, Nuova Serie Di Dei Delitti, present
  • International Committee of Sistema Penal e Violencia, present
  • Speaker, 2011 Michael Hindelang Lecture, SUNY Albany, May 5 “Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition.”
  • Speaker, 2010 Keynote address, “Beyond the Death Penalty” conference, Maastricht, Netherlands, Oct. 18, 2010
  • Speaker “Capital Punishment and American Exeptionalism” Public Lecture, CESDIP, L’Ecole des Hautes Etudes Sciences Sociale, Paris. Apr. 16, 2009
  • Speaker, “How America’s Death Penalty Works” The Tsai Lecture, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, March 2009
  • Organizer, “Historical and Theoretical Perspectives on Capital Punishment,” Conference, New York University, May 2007
  • Speaker, “American Capital Punishment: Law in the Shadow of Lynching”, Distinguished Speaker Series Lecture, East Kentucky University, Richmond, KY, Mar. 1, 2007
  • Editorial board, Punishment & Society, 2001- present
  • Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief, Punishment & Society, 1997-2001
  • Founding editor, Editorial Board Member, The Edinburgh Law Review, 1995-present